Group 212 Inter-Media Project

September 2nd, 2009

Posted by Weston Blelock

House Occupied by Group 212 During the Sixties

House occupied by Group 212 during the late sixties

Bob Liikala’s Group 212 Inter-Media Project exhibit at the Historical Society of Woodstock will close September 6th. Liikala has been on hand since the August 8th opening to guide visitors and discuss the project’s formation and history. He will not be present the final weekend. The show may be viewed on Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

 The 212 project ran summer retreats from 1967 to 1969 in the old Holiday Country Inn midway between Saugerties and Woodstock on Route 212. It was briefly home to professionals in the visual arts, music, performing arts, filmmaking and sciences. The collective fostered a collaborative meeting point and simplified time and space constraints for the participating artists. It encouraged them to experiment with the diverse new media and helped them to explore and synthesize the exploding potentials then being articulated through happenings, expanded cinema, environmental music and multimedia theater, dance and sculpture. Some of the projects that emerged in 1967 included Meredith Monk’s Blueprint, which was presented at Montreal’s Expo 67; Horse Play, a happening incorporating animals and audience members by Yayoi Kusama; and Dump Tour, a multimedia event directed by Franklin “Bud” Drake that featured a “deluxe” buffet, champagne, an art auction/burning, an airplane assault involving paper airplanes and White Mass choreographed by Norma Lusk. 

Group 212 was a manifestation of the exploding Woodstock artistic scene—as were the Sound-Outs. Bud Drake’s mother, Pan Copeland, presided over the latter on her farm just up the road. According to Roots of the 1969 Woodstock Festival: The Backstory to “Woodstock, Pan hoped to craft these concerts into a Newport festivals of rock. Musical acts like the Blues Magoos, Fear Itself, Richie Havens, Tim Hardin, Kenny Rankin, Billy Batson, Children of God and many others were known to have performed at her field.

11 Responses to “Group 212 Inter-Media Project”

  1. bob liikala says:

    Glad to see your posting of our project, you should use the large shot with the gal with a sweater, not nude in upper lect, I sent to papers, that was my photo I had Bob Burgos take, not in the photo unfortunately, with my Hasselbald, a top camera. No copywrite problems with this one. I’ll try to forward it. Bob Liikala, hope to be back in Woodstock this next fall for a few weeks, would be happy to give a Sunday talk again about our tie-in with the Fluxus movement it’s understated with many Fluxus artists and events at 212. I had a Fluxus Gallery in NYC on 3rd St. off Bowery in 1965, most happenings are really fluxus related. This should be got on camera and added as an adendum to my DVD, hope you are running it on local community t.v.’s. Franklin and Ruth Drake were close friends of Emiley Harvey, a major fluxus pioneer and gallery owner of her gallery, Harvey Gallery soon to be a Fluxus museum, her home in Venice is already a Fluxus gallery and residential workshop, she died just a year or so before my talk, she knew she had cancer and took Ruth Drake with her for her last trip to her homes in Venice and the south of France. I do hope you framed the 212 color photo. Best, Bob Liikala, 831-423-3557, 325-4494

  2. bob liikala says:

    hope you received this, e-m me back that you received it, Bob Liikala, liikalajohn@yahoo.com

  3. Hi Bob,

    Thanks for posting. It’s good to hear that you’ll be back in the area in the fall! All the best, Weston

  4. bob liikala says:

    I’ll be in NYC and Woodstoc in Feb.2011 3 weeks for College Art Assn. meeting, doing a bit of reasearch at the Met.Mus., Curate and collaborate at Engine 27 Museumm NYC. Would like to hear from any of the 212 Gang. Dirk Kortz got in touch, Working ona web. site with Lettie Smith, pro. curator.
    Also active in the Moffett Museum curatorial group (Aero-space) and “A Space for Progress” A consulting team working on the restoration of blimp hanger “1” in an expo-multi dimensional Tech-arts hum of 200 to 300 units. I’ll be traveling soon on a 45 ay rail pass contacting tech-arts museums, and available to talk about “art of the 60″s” Check out more info under that lisiting. Bob Jon Liikala

  5. Hello Robert,
    I cherished my experiences at group 212–My relationships with Sunny Murray, David Burrell, Archie Shepp, were all inspiring. I was a visual artist in the community and I would like to know more about what happened to the other wonderful spatial travelers that I shared the discourse, searching the secrets to unfold, at group 212. would like to learn any updated information about Juma, my dear friend who, at the time, made instruments for bob Dylan’s band. I also fondly remember “The Icarus personae” who I adored but am forgetting his original name–the he who created the A.K.A. Icarus. There were other dancers at the community who I remember in the fog of remembrances dancing the real and not. Looking forward to more….With fond memories x Nina

  6. Bob Liikala says:

    Bob Liikala has bwgun a web page google just first entry should do it, check it out guys, looking for more Group 212 Images, liikalajohn@yahoo.com

  7. I just remembered Icarus–Michael Sullivan appears in my memory of tomorrow. Best regards to you Weston and Bob. x Nina

  8. Mark Steele says:

    Thanks for the story. I visited Group 212 a few times in the late 60’s and was a little out of place being only 16 at the time and a straight kid from Saugerties. I’ve told the story of the original Woodstock concerts many times and was lucky enough to have gone to a couple. By this time I was in the Navy. Never knew her name was Pan, always thought it was Pam….

  9. suzette green says:

    Hey, Bob!
    I stayed at 212 from March ’68 until November. My room had the most magnificent view over the pond on the third floor, my little nest. From there I painted on top of my footlocker, studied at the Art Students League with Bruce Dorfman, and worked at Deanie’s Restaurant. Michael Sullivan and I did a short film with Ralph Santanelli, shot by Bob Burgos, styled by Linda Sampson. So many great talented people from which I have splendid memories. Some one told me it was a crime if I did not start writing them down, but you are preceding me!
    Great memories of Juma, Chuck Gordone, Judy (?) Cantine, Jim Black @ piano, many others (so many, lots of love!) films, music, painting. laughing, eating, fabulous birds, wildlife – loved it! I’ll look for photos. Currently I am in Holland for six months of the year, my photos are in Florida. Many hugs and love to you – dear Isabelle(?!)

  10. Bob Liikala says:

    Hi hi, creative survivors ! Go to my web site for great large Group 212 Project. Isabelle (now Dunkeson) in Sarasota. I went to Russia and adopted 2 orphan baby girls, raised them solo as “Mr.Mom” now 23 and 25 doing well. Albina lives with me and her great guy in my “Surf City” Santa Cruz, Ca.home.Was in NYC & Woodstock 11/14 hosted by Tony Weidenbacher, small dinner including Ruth Drake (Franklin died a few years ago) I knew him in NYC, he turned me on to Woodsttock for a film site on Pan’s farm with Bob Burgos, in L.A.. teaching acting, film and directing small teater productions.Best, Bob

  11. […] Related link >>> Roots of Woodstock article […]

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